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Syrian civil war


Walsingham

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Assad want's to rule these people and you can't rule people whose children you gassed to death. Its politically counter productive, stupid and short sighted to use a weapon that is only really efficient against civilians,if they're your civilians. 

Same could be said for the protesters than he had gunned down or the neighborhoods he had shelled.

It's safe to the say that Assad wants to be feared and civilian casualties actually help his cause.

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That theory doesn't add up. Assad is a member of a minority shia sect and to stay in power he still needs the, at the very least, silent support of the sunni majority. That majority can't be bullied into submission by mass murder or he'll lose support among those sunni that are still friendly (or at least undecided) to the government.

Its one thing to assert your authority as a government by being forceful, but the terror tactics they're accusing him of don't make sense from a political perspective. Its no good to win the war and inflame the majority permanently against yourself.

 

These are the same accusations leveled against Milosevic in '99 and they didn't make sense there either. I know what its like for a government to fight a terrorist insurgency and seek to retain legitimacy with an unfriendly/on the fence population at the same time. The army and the police are ordered to demonstrate power on the terrorists to prove that they're in control, while at the same time avoiding antagonizing civilians so that the terrorists recruitment pools are bled dry.

 

It worked back then, Serbian police had all but wiped out the UCK and then the US intervened before the final mop up could be completed and peace restored.

 

This is what's happening now.

 

Another fun fact: there were more casualties in the '99 war among the Albanian population from NATO bombing than any other cause. in other words, when the missiles start flying the casualties will in fact increase, defeating the whole purpose of the action.

И погибе Српски кнез Лазаре,
И његова сва изгибе војска, 
Седамдесет и седам иљада;
Све је свето и честито било
И миломе Богу приступачно.

 

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That's right, DE. I'm sure the dead people have US power relations at the top of their list of interests.

 

There are dead people on both sides and many of them died by US army donated weapons. Many more will die when the cruise missiles start flying. Empty moralizing is empty, because none of this is, or has ever been, about the well being of the people.

 

And here is were you are wrong.

Stopping chemical weapons use is about the well-being of the Syrian people. 

 

Or at least it was when that option was still on the table.

By now it's blindingly clear that no effective intervention will come from the west and endless bickering in UN over reports and security council meetings only prolong the inevitable. As sad it is - given that the best way to handle the conflict is to let Assad gas-away unchecked.

But we are far too hypocritical for that.

 

The issue is not chemical weapons use, it's that they were used by someone the USA don't like.

 

Remember it was the USA delivering chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein who then used them during the war with Iran and to wipe out a Kurdish village.

 

As always, USA taking moral high ground is risible.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.

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I've heard that only 9% of the US citizen approve of the planned attack on Syria. Democracy at its best. 

 

Yep

 

 

Numbers seem to have changed.

 

That 9% was in response to a very broad question and left the interpretation of term "military intervention" wide open. 

That poll also showed that "25 percent said that they support intervention if Assad uses chemical weapons".

That is also a broad response since it fails to specify the type of intervention.

 

 

But when you ask specific questions the tatest numbers seem to be quite different.

 

The entire poll results are here:

http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i//MSNBC/Sections/A_Politics/_Today_Stories_Teases/13336_NBC_Syria_Poll.pdf

 

Here's some of the results:

 

(Note that one or two of the questions are still fairly broad - as in the use of the term "military action")

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

It has been reported that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons on its citizens. Do you think

the United States should take military action against the Syrian government in response to the use of

chemical weapons or not?

 

Yes, should take military action .................. 42

No, should not take military action .............. 50

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Now, more specifically, if U.S. military action in Syria were limited to air strikes using cruise missiles

launched from U.S. naval ships that were meant to destroy military units and infrastructure that have been

used to carry out chemical attacks would you support or oppose this U.S. military action in Syria?*

 

Support ................................................................. 50

Oppose ................................................................. 44

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Syrian civilians have been killed by their government in response to protests and civil unrest. The U.S is

taking diplomatic and economic measures to try to stop the Syrian government from taking military action

against its citizens. Which ONE statement best describes what you think

 

The U.S. should take military action to help stop the killing of civilians.   ......................................................................26%

The U.S. should provide weapons to the forces inside Syria opposing the government................................................  6%

The U.S. should provide only humanitarian assistance to the civilians injured or forced from their homes. .................40%

The U.S. should take none of these actions ................................................................................................................. 23%

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

The use of chemical weapons by any country is a “red line,” that is an action that would require a significant

U.S. response, including the possibility of military action.

 

Agree .......................................................... 58

Disagree ..................................................... 35

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Do you think that President Obama should or should not be required to receive approval from Congress

before taking military action in Syria?

 

Should be required to receive approval ................... 79

Should not be required to receive approval ............. 16

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

If the United States takes military action in Syria, which one of the following should be the most important

objective of United States military action in Syria?

 

Stopping the use of chemical weapons ...................................... 56

Removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power .......... 16

Stopping the fighting between government and rebel forces ..... 15

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I wish they had included a question that asked if the reports of Assad's use of chemical weapons was believable or not. 

It would be nice to put the poll responses in some sort of context.

 

Anyway, have fun with those.  :) 

Edited by kgambit
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Interesting poll results, I like the result of needing Congress' approval.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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That's right, DE. I'm sure the dead people have US power relations at the top of their list of interests.

 

There are dead people on both sides and many of them died by US army donated weapons. Many more will die when the cruise missiles start flying. Empty moralizing is empty, because none of this is, or has ever been, about the well being of the people.

 

And here is were you are wrong.

Stopping chemical weapons use is about the well-being of the Syrian people. 

 

Or at least it was when that option was still on the table.

By now it's blindingly clear that no effective intervention will come from the west and endless bickering in UN over reports and security council meetings only prolong the inevitable. As sad it is - given that the best way to handle the conflict is to let Assad gas-away unchecked.

But we are far too hypocritical for that.

 

The issue is not chemical weapons use, it's that they were used by someone the USA don't like.

 

Remember it was the USA delivering chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein who then used them during the war with Iran and to wipe out a Kurdish village.

 

As always, USA taking moral high ground is risible.

 

 

OK, so what's your actual point? Because judging by your tone you think chem-weapons shouldn't be used.

 

But all I actually hear is you arguing that no-one has a moral right to do anything about them.

 

The thing to bear in mind about America is precisely the thing Martin Luther King believed in. That while America might fail its principles, it had principles. It can be levered into moral action because of that fact. The same is true - to a lesser extent - of France and the UK.

 

Of course, if you prefer we can all just sit about doing **** all because once upon a time we did something wrong.

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"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Every nation in the world has principles, you don't possess a goddamn monopoly on morality.

 

Besides, if the US doesn't intervene (fat chance of that now) the various rebel factions (some of them with Al Quaeda links) will be defeated soon. Why is that not an acceptable course of action?

 

The poll is sort of skewered. Questions about chemical weapons presume that the questioned are sufficiently informed about them. Since the majority isn't the prefix chemical just serves to make a bogey man out of something that has been around for a century and that is also notoriously ineffective. 

 

The depleted uranium shells that the US used to bomb Serbia are infinitely more sinister and dangerous. Cancer rates spiked tremendously in the years post bombing, especially in Kosovo where the majority of the bombs fell, because the radioactive waste trickled down into the ground and into the water everyone drinks.

 

So yeah, they poisoned the ****ing water for at least a generation. Where is the moral outrage now?

 

 

И погибе Српски кнез Лазаре,
И његова сва изгибе војска, 
Седамдесет и седам иљада;
Све је свето и честито било
И миломе Богу приступачно.

 

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Wonder how long it'll take for the UN experts to give their report.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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The fleet is already there, the report will be just one of those sad footnotes in history when it eventually appears.

 

Analysts are saying that this attack on Syria will most likely be limited to cruise missiles, because of the Russian anti-air system Syrians are sporting. Its outdated apparently, but still good enough to give the US pause.

 

What will be most interesting are the also Russian made ground to sea missiles that Israel failed to destroy. Some are saying they're a  threat, others that US missiles out-range them.

Edited by Drowsy Emperor

И погибе Српски кнез Лазаре,
И његова сва изгибе војска, 
Седамдесет и седам иљада;
Све је свето и честито било
И миломе Богу приступачно.

 

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Never know though, maybe the US will wait for it to come back. Not going to hurt to get ducks in a row and the UN's backing.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Today seems to be my day for arguing about depleted uranium. Third conversation in 24 hours.

 

It's obviously pointless trying to have a discussion about the balkans with you when it motivates every single one of your points. Right or wrong, you aren't going to budge one inch.

 

The relevance, however, is that action was taken in the Balkans, by the US against Russian wishes, in order to tackle a humanitarian disaster [analysis and more detail]. No doubt you will say this was a US stitch up, but when Russia tried to get US actions condemned, they failed.

 

~

 

There is a fundamental and repeated question to the whole world which keeps going unanswered: what do we do when hundreds of thousands, millions of people are suffering at the hands of persons or groups? When those actions are a direct violation of 'international law'?

 

The UN has utterly failed as anything more than a single stage upon which arguments can be made in a media and diplomatic spotlight. It resolves none of them.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Well, if you want it to do more then it'll have to tread into a world government which I'm sure not many would go for. Interesting that this kind of outlines the damage Iraq did to the US in terms of people buying it's intelligence.

 

As for the conflict :

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10276910/Syria-BBC-Panorama-films-napalm-attack-on-school.html

 

Napalming a school now. I guess Assad's gone fully crazy.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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That is a gross oversimplification of any conflict, lapsing into typical good guy-bad guy mentality. You cannot or should not call to action without thinking of the long term consequences.

 

Saddam Hussein for one would have gone away in time. Not a very long time at that. Why did Iraq need to be dragged through hell with countless civilian casualties and destruction on a massive scale that tore the country to pieces? What for? The suffering multiplied a thousandfold for nothing.

 

Well, if you want it to do more then it'll have to tread into a world government which I'm sure not many would go for. Interesting that this kind of outlines the damage Iraq did to the US in terms of people buying it's intelligence.

As for the conflict :

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10276910/Syria-BBC-Panorama-films-napalm-attack-on-school.html

Napalming a school now. I guess Assad's gone fully crazy.

 

None of them can even say that it was napalm or who threw it. A jet flew over, so what, it could have just as easily be a mortar attack. Seriously, this isn't even reporting its just an exercise of constructing a story with a single fact. The fact is, a building that is apparently a school was hit with a bomb of some sort. Everything else is pure speculation with intent to inflame the public.

Edited by Drowsy Emperor

И погибе Српски кнез Лазаре,
И његова сва изгибе војска, 
Седамдесет и седам иљада;
Све је свето и честито било
И миломе Богу приступачно.

 

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I know its terrible but I guffawed when dude limped by with his clothes all blown to tatters. Also, that's got to be the smallest explosion ever from a supposed air dropped bomb. Did someone fly by in a sopwith camel and drop a moltov c0cktail by hand?

Not as bad as me. 'Napalm sticks to kids' popped into my head. God damn Officer and a Gentleman reruns. :p

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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I hope they wait for the report to come back simply because it's the right thing to do. If the shoe was on the other foot, the US would be telling whoever else to wait for the report. I agree with Walsingham in that it isn't right that just because the US made a mistake once that they never act again, although I wish it to be far more cautious this time. They need to make sure everything is sound and the facts are in place before they start anything. That includes waiting for the UN report.

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@Malcador

 

Good point about the UN inspectors report.  It would be nice to have that available before any final decision is made. 

 

 

 

Every nation in the world has principles, you don't possess a goddamn monopoly on morality.

 

Besides, if the US doesn't intervene (fat chance of that now) the various rebel factions (some of them with Al Quaeda links) will be defeated soon. Why is that not an acceptable course of action?

 

The poll is sort of skewered. skewed.    Questions about chemical weapons presume that the questioned are sufficiently informed about them. Since the majority isn't the prefix chemical just serves to make a bogey man out of something that has been around for a century and that is also notoriously ineffective. 

 

FIFY

 

For starters, it's not acceptable when over a hundred thousand Syrians are killed and hundreds of thousand, or millions are displaced.  Walsingham has already detailed the case, I won't belabor it here.. 

 

 

Perhaps you should have read the entire poll.

 

Q7.     Have you seen, read, or heard the news coverage about reports of the use of chemical weapons by the

Syrian government? (IF YES:) And, have you seen, read, or heard a lot or just some about this?

Total Yes 79

Yes, a lot .......................... 35

Yes, just some ................. 44

 

So I guess the majority does know at least a little bit about chemical weapons.

 

And some sidebar topics you raised:

 

The US TLAMs far out-range the Syrian/Russian anti-ship missiles: 

 

US TLAM range - 700 to 1350 miles (depends on version and payload)

Syrian (Russian) P-800 Oniks (Yakhont)  - 75 to 185 miles (also known as the Russian SS-N-26 Stallion)

 

http://defense-update.com/20111203_syria-receives-yakhont-missiles.html

http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Rus-Cruise-Missiles.html#mozTocId241813

 

The Syrian air defense crown jewel is the S-300* / S-200 system.  It's effective range is 75 to 185 miles. 

It is vulnerable  to standoff attacks from AGM-158 JASSMs at ranges exceeding 230 miles.

Once that is degraded, the rest of the Syrian SAM system looks a lot like Libya's in terms of quality

 

http://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Updated%20Syrian%20Air%20Force%20and%20Air%20Defense%20Capabilities%20Brief_8May.pdf

http://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/RequiredSorties-to-DegradeSyrianAirPower.pdf

 

*There is some speculation as to whether the S-300 systems are deployed.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that they are and the US has plans for them.

Edited by kgambit
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Lol, almost half of those 100000 (ridiculous number games in any war while its still in progress) are Syrian army and police, so the rebels have in fact, about as much blood on their hands as the regime does. I suppose you're going to claim its self defense next?

 

Please.

 

Nothing in the rebel camp even suggests they could form a semblance of government or why they should even be allowed to form it. 

И погибе Српски кнез Лазаре,
И његова сва изгибе војска, 
Седамдесет и седам иљада;
Све је свето и честито било
И миломе Богу приступачно.

 

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None of them can even say that it was napalm or who threw it. A jet flew over, so what, it could have just as easily be a mortar attack. Seriously, this isn't even reporting its just an exercise of constructing a story with a single fact. The fact is, a building that is apparently a school was hit with a bomb of some sort. Everything else is pure speculation with intent to inflame the public.

More to the point, there were a rather surprising number of military aged men apparently working at that school. It is nice to see that rebel schools are so well resourced with teachers, even in a war zone.

 

And, of course, sometimes, it's a different story and definitely not an atrocity.

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I'm pretty badly hungover, but I think there may be an inconsistency in the Whitehouse assessment.

 

The assessment refers to multiple prior incidents. If there have been multiple prior incidents that would give credibility to this one.

 

However, if there have been multiple prior incidents, and such incidents were supposed to constitute a "red line",  then why in the name of clockwork funt badgers has the Obama administration waited until now to do something?

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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A limited intervention consisting of military strikes from the air, pending approval by congress? Obama: I had my doubts, but turns out you're a very sensible person after all. I hope this turns out something like Libya. Just make sure not to discriminate between Assad's forces and the jihadis (sadly I don't believe that is likely).

 

I'm pretty badly hungover, but I think there may be an inconsistency in the Whitehouse assessment.

 

The assessment refers to multiple prior incidents. If there have been multiple prior incidents that would give credibility to this one.

 

However, if there have been multiple prior incidents, and such incidents were supposed to constitute a "red line",  then why in the name of clockwork funt badgers has the Obama administration waited until now to do something?

 

Public opinion. Nobody would fall today for the argument that "CIA said so". Whether through incompetence or intentional deception, nobody sensible believes anything that comes out of the CIA these days.

"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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A limited intervention consisting of military strikes from the air, pending approval by congress? Obama: I had my doubts, but turns out you're a very sensible person after all. I hope this turns out something like Libya. Just make sure not to discriminate between Assad's forces and the jihadis (sadly I don't believe that is likely).

 

I'm pretty badly hungover, but I think there may be an inconsistency in the Whitehouse assessment.

 

The assessment refers to multiple prior incidents. If there have been multiple prior incidents that would give credibility to this one.

 

However, if there have been multiple prior incidents, and such incidents were supposed to constitute a "red line",  then why in the name of clockwork funt badgers has the Obama administration waited until now to do something?

 

Public opinion. Nobody would fall today for the argument that "CIA said so". Whether through incompetence or intentional deception, nobody sensible believes anything that comes out of the CIA these days.

 

A limited strike with long range cruise missiles is likely perhaps with some selected air strikes.  I do not expect boots on the ground or a full-out massive air attack. I'm not sure that the US will even press for establishing a no fly zone.

 

Asking for congressional support is a bold move.  Obama does not have bipartisan support in the best of the times. He's also made it clear countless times before that he believes that he does not need UN or congressional support to act. 

 

I'm no huge fan of Obama, and I am certainly not trying to defend him, but this is what Obama originally said about the use of chemical weapons:

 

“We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized,” the president said a year ago last week. “That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.”       from a news conference at the White House on Aug. 20, 2012

 

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/08/president-obamas-red-line-what-he-actually-said-about-syria-and-chemical-weapons/

 

Here's my interpretation of Obama's logic:  The scale of the latest attack certainly qualifies as a "whole bunch of chemical weapons".  The previous attacks, although numerous and providing proof of chemical weapon use were limited in extent that in Obama's view they did not qualify as game changers. 

 

That's total conjecture on my part and I'm not saying I agree with that logic but there you go.  The public opinion angle can't be discounted either. 

Edited by kgambit
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Government let British company export nerve gas chemicals to Syria

 

"The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills insisted that although the licences were granted to an unnamed UK chemical company in January 2012, the substances were not sent to Syria before the permits were eventually revoked last July in response to tightened European Union sanctions.

 

In a previously unpublicised letter to MPs last year, Mr Cable acknowledged that his officials had authorised the export of an unspecified quantity of the chemicals in the knowledge that they were listed on an international schedule of chemical weapon precursors."

 

So the chemicals apparently were never sent but still...wtf?

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